The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has said that Parliament will place special emphasis and increase oversight on the Global Fund.
While meeting the new UNAIDS Country Director, Dr Karusa Kiragu, the Speaker responded to concerns about the poor absorption of the Global Fund money yet there were still major issues to be addressed on the AIDS pandemic in the country.
Dr Kiragu said that there was a growing trend of some money from the Global Fund not being utilised and instead returned at the end of the accounting period.
“There is a glaring issue of absorption of resources on the ground yet we see more AIDS patients lacking access to anti-retroviral medicine,” she said.
The Speaker asked Dr Kiragu to furnish her with information pertaining to the funds provided for AIDS initiatives so that she can mobilise Parliament to efficiently follow up especially at committee level.
“Members of Parliament are very concerned about issues regarding AIDS and would definitely be interested in following up this matter,” Kadaga said.
Kiragu also asked the Speaker to urge parliamentarians to re-echo the President’s message in the AIDS Initiative Campaign he launched recently.
“We ask you to push the MPs to talk about preventive measures of AIDS and have the message out to their constituents,” she said.
Kadaga said that Parliament has a Committee on HIV and AIDS, which will support the presidential initiative.
“We have confirmed that the AIDS Fund is functional and funding should be availed to the Ministry of Health. I will also ask all the parliamentary committees to talk about all measures against AIDS as they go out to conduct field visits and also during the Speaker’s outreach,” Kadaga affirmed.